So. Been away for a bit. Got most of the place packed up and moved over the weekend (note I say most) despite a badly sprained ankle, largely because of our AMAZING helpers, who lifted and organized and- perhaps most importantly- kept my optimism and sanity at reasonable levels. Good friends are wicked awesome. To an heroic degree sometimes.
This was one of those times.
The new place is shaping up and feeling like home, and there’s really only one more medium-sized load of stuff to get to storage, and I still have 9 days until the end of the month, so I’m taking a bit of a break and resting the ankle (and other assorted muscle aches and bruises. I am waaaaaay too old for this moving stuff. There WILL be professional movers next time. I think my hair actually hurts) and rebuilding the energy levels somewhat.
What better way to chill out and relax and recoup than to go, with some old friends, to visit with some old friends at that grand old barn we call Massey Hall.
Simple Minds are here tonight.
I saw them at Massey Hall in 1984. Sparkle in the Rain Tour. Then Maple Leaf Gardens in 1985.
And now they’re back. On a ‘greatest hits’ tour. Playing relatively small venues- hence the Massey Hall location again- that old timey concert hall, one of the most comfortable venues in town (as in, it feel like you’re in your living room- if it was a living room that hold 2500 people), and the starting place and storehouse of some of my most memorable concert-going experiences.
SO. VERY. EXCITED.
Since they are keeping this tour small- and since the promoters obviously underestimated the strength of Toronto fandom when it comes to a band like Simple Minds- what few tickets remain are selling for exorbitant prices. Not quite the secret-Arcade-Fire-in-Brooklyn-show prices (apparently someone was selling tickets to those shows for $5000– THAT’S insanity), but steep nonetheless.
I’m going because one of those amazing friends I was just mentioning got me a ticket as a birthday present months ago. With the craziness of the move and all I had sort of forgotten about it. Not that it was happening- too psyched for that- but the when of it sort of left the conscious part of my brain.
It’s back. I’m getting no work done today- just eagerly anticipating hanging with Jim and Charlie and the boys- and those of my peeps who managed to score tickets to the show.
I have promised another not-so-lucky bud that I will provide a full review post-show, so I will keep this one brief and less-gushy than it might otherwise have been.
Promised You a Miracle.
Miracles are an interesting phenomenon. Ascribable to the supernatural, they are events that are filled with wonder and most religions see them as divine intervention in the lives of us human-type people. The mythological systems of the religions of the world have many examples of stories of the miraculous: communications with the deity (burning bushes and the like), revelations through human vessels, icons weeping blood, the taming of wild beasts… Myriad are the tales and the means through which the divine deigns to speak with and guide his/her/their creation.
My favourite biblical story of the miraculous? Hard to choose, but I think the story of Balaam and the talking donkey in Numbers is right up there among the
crazy amazing tales of the supernatural interfering in the real world.
MY main memory of Promised You a Miracle dates back a number of decades, and isn’t really about the song itself. We were on a camp out- a whole crowd of us. And, as part of the silliness of the day, we were playing a somewhat manic game of charades. Guido (nicknamed for the killer pimp in Risky Business, despite the fact that he looked disturbingly like Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver) was up, and furiously acting his great heart out- trying SO hard to MAKE us guess the clue.
But really, all he kept doing was making the sign of the cross and looking heavenward. Over and over again. As the clock was about to run out someone finally yelled out the correct answer. Not coincidentally the person who got it is also my benefactor for the show tonight. And one of the other peeps from that particular camp out will also be joining us at the concert.
We laughed for a long time about the repetitive nature of the clue. Guid made us laugh a whole lot- on that cookout and so many other times over the years. He was my first sailing teacher- he taught me to love the sport for itself and for the lessons that controlling a small boat on a big lake can teach you. Lessons I spoke about here.
He died, in a freak skiing accident, the following winter. But I still picture him, looking all Haskell-esque while emphatically gazing skyward (when he wasn’t glaring at us for our obvious idiocy), whenever I hear that song. Which I will tonight. Surrounded by friends and memories of concerts past. And with one missing friend who yet remains in the forefront of my mind at certain specific times. When certain specific songs are played.
I’d like to think he’s with us, somehow.
‘Belief is a beauty thing.’
Have a great evening.
I’ll get back to you when I recover from celebrating with the Boys in the Band.